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Grading the NFL Trade "Dudline" Moves

Photo: Jeff Schear/Getty Images

Adam Schefter was not amused. Although some teams made subsequential moves to bolster for a playoff run, the trade deadline was underwhelming, to say the least. It is hit-or-miss every year, but names like Stephon Gilmore, Sam Darnold, Dwyane Haskins, or even Ryan Fitzpatrick, were being thrown around with serious considerations. Maybe those were a stretch, but I was certain guys like Texans WR Will Fuller V, Giants WR Golden Tate, and Bengals WR A.J. Green were on the move. I even felt the Pats should have traded Cam Newton for draft capital, as he clearly isn't the short or long-term solution.

Neither here nor there, it was a slow day at the office, and the teams that made moves definitely helped their future games.

Biggest Trades

-Ravens land DE Yannick Ngakoue from the Vikings for a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 fifth-round pick.

The Ravens haven't been playing great, but they are still a good team. Their two losses came from the AFC favorite Chiefs and division rival 7-0 Steelers. This move helps bolster an already strong defense and hardly gave away anything for a former pro-bowler. The Ravens have lots of injuries right not, but still a solid move by the team. The Vikings aren't really going anywhere, and they made up all the capital they traded the Jaguars for Ngakoue.

GRADE: Ravens A- // Vikings A


- Titans receive DB Desmond King from the Chargers for a 2020 6th round pick.

The Titans landing King boosts their sub-par pass defense greatly. He can be utilized in the nickel formation, or line up as a primary back in the secondary. The Chargers got a late rounder for a really talented young and versatile player, but King was probably departing in free agency anyway.

GRADE: Titans A- // Chargers D


- 49ers trade LB Kwon Alexander to the Saints, for LB Kiko Alonso and a conditional 5th round pick.

The Saints are in win-now mode, and they made a small move to improve the linebacker position. Kwon Alexander is a nice veteran addition and will make an immediate impact on the defense. This was mainly a salary move for the 49ers, who are out of the picture this year with their stockpile of injuries, but it helps them create flexibility for younger talent down the road.

GRADE: 49ers B- // Saints B+


- Jets trade LB Avery Williamson to the Steelers for a 2022 seventh-round draft pick.

The Jets didn't fully sell-off, but they began shipping off some assets. The Steelers arguably have one of the best defenses in the league, and adding Williamson fills the hole of the injured Devin Bush. The Jets cleared some salary, but retrieving only a 7th rounder for next year was very generous on their end. It is probably a really nice feeling leaving an 0-8 team to head off to a 7-0 contender.

GRADE: Steelers A- // Jets D


-Seahawks acquire DE Carlos Dunlap from the Bengals for a 7th round pick and OL BJ Finney

The Seahawks defense has not performed as expected. The offense is too talented to have their games be lost or way-to-close from the defensive end. Carlos Dunlap is a gritty vet, who can provide talent and technique during the Seahawks eventual playoff run. Dunlap was not happy with the Bengals this season, and he was not going to be a part of their future plans anyway. Cincinnati adds O-Line depth and some draft capital, which helps sweeten the deal.

GRADE: Seahawks B+ // Bengals B


-Lions get DE Everson Griffen from the Cowboys in exchange for a conditional 6th round pick.

I feel the Lions are "pretenders" instead of "contenders", but adding a guy like Griffen, who they faced many times while he was a Viking, must make defensive-minded head coach Matt Patricia a happy guy. He wasn't playing to his standard in Dallas, but he has a great background and prior success, it can only help Detroit more than hurt them.

GRADE: Lions B // Cowboys C


-Giants trade LB Markus Golden to the Cardinals for a 2021 6th rounder.

The Cardinals reunite with a familiar face, and Markus Golden should provide some nice defensive pass rushing on the Cardinals D. The benefits of Golden are much higher than what they would have got with a 6th round selection. Golden is a baller, he just did not fit into the Giants new defensive scheme. He was on a one-year deal anyway, so credit to the Giants for landing a pick rather than letting him walk.

GRADE: Cardinals B // Giants B


Other Moves

- In addition, the Jets dealt LB Jordan Willis and a 2021 7th to the 49ers and DL Steve McLendon with a 2023 7th, for two 2022 6th round picks.

- Dolphins receive RB DeAndre Washington and a 2021 7th round pick.. Chiefs get 2021 round pick 6th.

- Dolphins make a rare inter-division move, and send WR Isiah Ford to the Patriots

And that's all she wrote, folks!


Free Agent Signings

Two of the biggest available players signed with the AFC and NFC favorites the past week or so.

-RB LeVeon Bell: Kansas City Chiefs

At this point, the Chiefs are just toying with the league. They already have rookie phenom, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who is taking the league by storm, and a plethora of weapons for the NFL's best QB, Pat Mahomes, including Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and more. Adding a top-ten running back (on a low risk-high reward contract) to a loaded offense that is already Super Bowl favorites, makes the Chiefs the winners of the week.


-WR Antonio Brown: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady was going to get AB down in Tampa eventually, and next week he makes his season debut. The Seahawks and the Ravens wanted him, but the Buccaneers

What a four-headed monster for Brady to pass to, Evans-Godwin-Brown-Gronkowski. This might be the best group of talent he had surrounding him. They are facing some tough times and some injuries, but when this team is healthy, oh boy...



When the clock struck 4 p.m., the top got stronger and the gap began to widen even more. The Packers didn't add weapons for MVP contender Aaron Rodgers. The Cowboys stick with Ben DiNucci. The Jets didn't fully implode. Thus, the Chiefs still remain up top. There is still a lot of football to play and potentially an even more expanded playoff, the remainder of the season is going to get interesting.


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